Life has these moments of clarity in it. Every day, we worry about money, things that need fixing, things we need to do, things we shouldn’t have done and in the process, we forget about what is most important. This past week I was in a real funk over this whole referendum.
I was disappointed with the mass propaganda efforts, saddened by the lack of support for the sincerity of a difficult process and really dismayed in the behaviour of some people I had at one time truly respected. It was not the loss of an aquatic centre that was the hardest part to contend with, but rather the loss of community. The Coalmont Courier stated “We won.” I guess some people’s idea of a win is different than mine.
Last year, my son’s hockey team took some hard losses in part because of some awful coaches who allowed unfair play. When one of our kids came off the ice crying from an illegal hit in a no checking hockey game, the other bench was celebrating with distasteful smiles. These kids were nine and ten. What were they being taught? The coaches of my son’s team, have always praise the kids’ good plays even when they lose. They might leave the ice feeling down after a tough loss, but through example they are soon putting the loss into perspective.
On the weekend, my daughter and I travelled to a Highland dance competition. My daughter did quite well, but that is not what we talked about on the way home. We talked about all the dancers she had met and reacquainted herself with.
When the medal ceremonies came, there were some hugs, high fives, a few tears and some more hugs for those who did not receive any award. The Princeton teachers always make sure no girl leaves a competition without some kind words about what they did right.
No one likes losing at any age. It isn’t easy, but at the end of a good ball game, a tennis match or a political campaign, the losers and winners usually shake hands, brush off the dirt and put away their uniforms for another day – with a bit more practice under their belts.
This referendum has not allowed anyone that feeling of simplicity. Not unlike the Vancouver Riot, there are new scars that run deep. No windows were smashed, but the scars there just the same.
The dream has not died. At the end of the day, through the rubble, those who do are back doing. Those who complain are still complaining.
This past week, there have been unexpected deaths. One by a guy I used to shake hands with after ball. Every day precious lives are taken from us. Could we have done better? Did we say I love you enough? We cannot change the past, but we can look for that open window. It is always there.